A columnist with the Tucson Citizen, in a subtle article entitled, "Lies About Obamacare," has accused me of being -- you guessed it -- a liar about ObamaCare.
And the funny thing is, she then provided commentary showing three of my four supposed lies are true.
Columnist Denise Early is mad about my half of a two-person debate about ObamaCare that ran in the Arizona Daily Star on September 9 (the pro-ObamaCare half, by Wayne Madsen, is here, if you're interested).
Let's see about the "lies":
My original "lie": President Obama ... has "delayed the cap on how much an individual or family with insurance can be required to spend out-of-pocket."
Denise begins, in response: "This is not true. The delay is being granted only to companies that…"
My original "lie": "He's delayed the exchanges through which small businesses were supposed to be able to find affordable health insurance."
Denise, in response: "This is not true. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges will be open for business on October 1st. What has been delayed is a larger list of options for small businesses and their employees…"
My reply: So we agree. There is a delay. I'm right.
My original "lie": "The President raided Medicare to disguise the true cost of the ACA."
Denise begins, in response: "This is an old lie and still not true. The Affordable Care Act reduces Medicare spending…"
My reply: Yes, ObamaCare reduces Medicare spending. I'm right.
My original "lie": "He's delayed checks to determine whether people who claim to qualify for subsidies actually qualify."
Denise's entire response: "This is not true. All federally-run exchanges will check applicants' income with IRS data. The 15 states (at last count) that will run their own exchanges have the option to delay until 2015, this link to IRS data. This decision is based on getting the state exchanges hooked up to the IRS data. If a person receives a subsidy based on inaccurate income information, or if their income rises during the year, their next tax filing will catch any overpayments. They will have to repay any subsidy overpayments when they file their taxes the next year."
My reply: This is the one time Denise did not prove herself wrong without help from me, but she's still wrong. Here's an article in the Washington Post verifying the accuracy of my original statement.
Furthermore, Denise's is spinning to her readers when she says, "If a person receives a subsidy based on inaccurate income information, or if their income rises during the year, their next tax filing will catch any overpayments. They will have to repay any subsidy overpayments when they file their taxes the next year."
First, anyone who both cheats and does not file an income tax return (millions of American adults legally don't file federal returns) won't get caught. Denise doesn't mention them.
Second, as this article in Forbes points out, if a person's employer offers them affordable health insurance, they are not eligible for subsidies. But how will the government know? Because Obama delayed the ObamaCare mandate on big business, it won't know. Denise is wrong again.Correction, 9/13/13: The link posted to the Washington Post website under "lie #1" went to the wrong page. We apologize for the error. That link was corrected, and links also were added to that paragraph to additional articles in the New York Times and The Hill.